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Responsibility, privacy, and emotion are paramount for programmatic success

Last week, the Unruly team were out in full force at AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O in New York.

From cookies to privacy to SPO strategies, the discussions focused on the evolving media landscape and for those who couldn’t make it, we’ve put together a breakdown of the key takeaways.

Responsible Media: Selecting the right platforms to partner with

Rob Rakowitz, Initiative Lead, Global Alliance for Responsible Media, Eric Austin, Associate Director, Global Brand Building, Media Innovation, P&G, Joshua Nafman, Head of Global Media Buying and Operations, Diageo, and Alison Weissbrot, Staff Reporter, AdExchanger engaged in fantastic panel-based conversation about the importance of everyone in the business being honest about the challenges they face and collaborating to put robust solutions in place.

Austin said “We communicate what our values are. We’re holding the walled gardens accountable for the content they have on their platform – they feel the pressure externally, and we have a very vocal voice in the marketplace that sets the North Star that’s pushing the platforms in the right direction, to be a source for good.”

Rob Rakowitz, Eric Austin, Joshua Nafman, and Alison Weissbrot
Left to right: Rob Rakowitz, Eric Austin, Joshua Nafman, and Alison Weissbrot

Commenting specifically on brand safety Rakowizt believes there will never be a “finish line”. Without a single platform that meets the requirements of every advertiser globally, there will always be multiple players and a plethora of measurement techniques that means there will never be an agreed, industry-wide framework.

Everyone agreed that because of the unique requirements of each brand, the industry cannot escape the fact that agencies and publishers need to select a brand safety partner that fits their business model and audience. Nafman reminded the audience that “respecting your consumer is always good business and that’s what ultimately this is about”.

To this end, there is a need for transparency when it comes to how different brand safety platforms operate and the selection process should be a multi-way conversation involving all stakeholders, not a race to the bottom.

An Anonymous World: What the heck are we going to do about this privacy mess?

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” That was the resounding message from Andrew Frank, VP Distinguished Analyst at Gartner.

Amidst a host of new privacy legislation – and the promise of more ahead – advertisers, agencies, ad tech companies, and publishers found themselves somewhat in the dark about what they actually had to do to reach compliance while maintaining effective digital advertising campaigns.

Andrew Frank
Andrew Frank

Broadly speaking, in the run-up to GDPR the industry believed that Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) appeared to hold the key to compliance, creative personalisation capabilities promised a more intimate customer journey, and the ongoing availability of data should mean that scale would not be compromised.

The reality is that increased regulatory burdens, data oligopoly, and corrupt media markets resulted in a loss of consumer trust that has harmed many brands’ relationships with consumers – but not irreversibly.

There’s no doubt that new rules are necessary, what’s unclear is who is best placed (and willing to) create them, said Frank, who identified three potential sources: legal, regulatory bodies and tech platforms.

Frank explained that it’s impossible to create a single, future proof framework meaning that marketers need to plan for multiple scenarios.

Winning Minds and Stealing Hearts: The role of emotion in programmatic advertising

Of course, we couldn’t leave this blog post without mentioning Unruly’s very own CEO, Norm Johnston’s presentation about the importance of understanding and harnessing the power of emotion.

Johnston reminded the audience that emotion in advertising is neither a new concept, nor is it an out-dated concept or something that is confined to offline media. Sounds simple, but many digital marketers still fail (or forget) to include emotional data in digital campaign planning.

Norm Johnston, CEO, Unruly
Norm Johnston, CEO, Unruly

With the demise of the cookie and mounting pressure to increase levels of transparency, creativity and emotion provide the injection of magic that is needed to re-invigorate programmatic advertising. Furthermore, creative innovation spurs marketers to look beyond direct response metrics and grasp the brand-building opportunity programmatic offers that is so often overlooked.

You can watch Norm’s full presentation here and the slides are available here.

See all Programmatic I/O presentation videos & slides here

We hope you enjoyed meeting and speaking with us at Programmatic I/O. If you didn’t get a chance to speak to someone, let’s talk now and do great things together.